Teach Students to Build Their Own Prior Knowledge | MiddleWeb

See on Scoop.itThe reading skill

Teachers frustrated by Common Core directions to ignore prior knowledge when teaching text analysis can show students how to do it themselves, says Laura Robb.

Judith Morais‘s insight:

This article explores the importance of activating "prior knowledge"  when reading. The responses to this article demonstrate how this comprehension strategy can be interpreted differently. 


In my intensive language class, the activation of prior knowledge is crucial as it enables students access into texts that often begin as difficult texts and quickly develop over the week into texts they can easily cope with as they then work on productive skills such as speaking and writing. 

As the respondents to this article point out, there may be learning situations when the focus should move away from utilising this strategy.  I don’t see how I can in my situation, but certainly it is possible in the teaching of higher levels.

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Using TodaysMeet in my English 8 Classroom

See on Scoop.itDeveloping the writer

This is a guest post by Kris Campea, a grade 8 English teacher. Find her on Twitter. I am a strong proponent of discussions in my English classes, and I’m always looking for new ways for students t…

Judith Morais‘s insight:

TodaysMeet is a great way to encourage online discussions in the classroom. it works on a similar format as twitter but much easier to control. Students need the address to join your room. After adding their own name, they can begin sharing their thoughts. There is a word limit so that keeps everyone focused on being concise. 

Easy to use and free! 

See on blog.todaysmeet.com

Moving on

I haven’t been writing this blog regularly, I know, but I’ve developed a new interest in exploring the teaching of ESL through my other blog “teaching the esl learner”. So that’s where I will be more often for a while as I chart my teaching and learning experiences within the Intensive English Centre.

Decoding and Fluency

I’ve been prompted to write this entry after reading a letter to Shanahan at http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/2013/06/should-we-retain-kids-to-raise-reading.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+shanahanonliteracy%2FmQPL+%28Shanahan+on+Literacy%29.

The question asked if students who hadn’t achieved the standards for decoding and fluency should be retained even though all other achievement standards had been met.  Shanahan points out that recent results with Florida’s policy of retention have shown that this is the way to go. I look forward to his next blog post when he suggests why, despite this compelling evidence, it may not be the best policy.

My students are with me for a 10 week programme before they move up the ladder within the Intensive language centre. These students are moved on based on our assessment of their development and needs and many are able to move into the ESL programme or mainstream within 2 years. 

I’m close to the end of the 10 week programme now and have 3 students have developed remarkedly well in all areas except their decoding skills. I do not think they should remain another term with me just for this, but I am conscious that the majority of students who leave my level have achieved a very good standard of decoding and fluency skills. I agree with the evidence that shows how crucial the early acquisition of decoding skills is, but how does it weigh against all other achievements?

Why Don’t They Apply What They’ve Learned, Part I – Do Your Job Better – The Chronicle of Higher Education

See on Scoop.itThe teaching professional

Getting students to transfer knowledge from one context to another is a much more complicated process than many of us expect.

Judith Morais‘s insight:

The article offers two possible reasons for this problem. Firstly, the learning may be too closely associated to the context it was learnt in. Secondly, the learning may be too shallow. The writer promises to look at stategies that can be used to develop the necessary habit of mind for transfering learning. Will have to look at the next installment for that.

See on chronicle.com

MyRead – Home

See on Scoop.itThe reading skill

Strategies for teaching reading to children in the middle years

Judith Morais‘s insight:

A useful resource of theory and ideas in the website of the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training.

See on www.myread.org

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

See on Scoop.itThe reading skill

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

See on www.ncte.org